When Daniel Hemric climbs into the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro for Cup Series qualifying on October 1, he will showcase a new scheme. He will have CELSIUS Energy Drink as his primary partner for the first time.
CELSIUS has been a longtime supporter of Kaulig Racing, and the company served as Justin Haley’s primary partner during the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Now Hemric will showcase the white and orange scheme while trying to secure his second-ever top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway.
“I mean, obviously, it takes each and every partner in itself to make a deal just go around,” Hemric told Heavy ahead of the Talladega weekend. “So obviously, Celsius has been a partner of Kaulig Racing well before I came along, and it’s my first time actually being active with them, wearing their brand on my uniform, and having a full sponsorship on the car at the Cup level. So it’s a big deal, man. Those folks have been putting a lot into the program.
As Hemric explained, CELSIUS “jumped in the deep end of the pool” by getting involved with Kaulig Racing, Live Fast Motorsports, Front Row Motorsports, and RFK Racing. He sees this bold move as a testament to NASCAR doing something right, and he recognizes that key support from sponsors is what helps these teams survive and excel.
Hemric & Haley Will Aim for Strong Runs Together
Kaulig Racing is only in its first full season in the Cup Series, but the organization has shown that its superspeedway program can translate to the Next Gen cars. Haley’s seventh-place run at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Hemric qualifying third at Talladega Superspeedway are both examples.
While the Kaulig cars have had speed during trips to superspeedways, they have not necessarily been in the mix at the end of these caution-filled races. Crashes and unexpected issues have led to some DNFs.
For example, Hemric was running inside the top 10 during the Geico 500 when an engine issue knocked him off the pace. Austin Dillon then had no time to react before making contact with the rear of Hemric’s No. 16 and kicking off a multi-car wreck.
Similarly, Haley was running near the front of the pack at Daytona during the regular-season finale when rainfall led to a 13-car incident that sent both him and Hemric to the garage early. Now the two Kaulig drivers will try to keep their cars clean during the YellaWood 500 and help each other achieve success.
“When we go there we obviously know the quality of race cars that Kaulig Racing can provide for us at the Xfinity level and the Cup level,” Hemric said. “[Haley] and I’ve raced together and been around each other a lot and it’s gonna be fun — like I said — to do it again at Talladega.
“I feel like what we look forward to, kind of the moves we make… obviously, he’s proven himself on the speedways and all the Xfinity wins. I look forward to being able to lean on him and hopefully, we can both have a shot. Neither one of us has been running at the end of these Cup races to be able to actually help each other have a shot when it came down to getting the best result from a finishing position.”
Hemric Has Embraced the 2022 Season
Hemric capped off his 2021 campaign in the best possible way. He won his first career national series race, which just happened to be for the championship.
Hemric celebrated this major moment and then he joined Kaulig Racing to drive the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro full-time. He has since secured a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs on points while also dabbling in the Cup Series for the first time since 2019.
The 2022 season has not progressed as Hemric hoped. He is in the playoffs, but the No. 11 team has dealt with some setbacks. This includes a crash at Texas Motor Speedway that dropped him below the cutline heading toward Talladega.
While Hemric hasn’t achieved the consistency that he had hoped for, he has still embraced the 2022 season. He has not taken for granted the fact that he still gets to make a living by racing against some of the most talented drivers in the country.
“I mean, at the end of the day, I love racing and I’m just fortunate enough to do it to provide for myself and my family,” Hemric said. “And just very grateful to be in this position and with Kaulig Racing. You know, without their call last fall, not really sure where I’d be currently so I’m very thankful for what they’ve done and how they reached out to me last year.
“So by no means against as many Cup races as I can run in the future or any races, in general, really. Heck, I got to dabble in some Micro Sprint races this year. Done a good bit of that and testing and whatnot. So just… man, if there is a race car and Kaulig Racing allows me to do it and they want to give me an opportunity, I’m in any series and as much and as often as they’ll let me.”